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How Nottingham Trent Basin is Generating Electricity
Written by Charles of Netleadz
A £100 million housing development in Nottingham’s Trent Basin has been created as a working example of how communities can switch to low carbon and clean energy living. This pioneering project, lead by the University of Nottingham is revolutionising how we use and conserve energy in the UK.
The development is centred around Europe’s largest community battery which stores and redistributes the energy generated by onsite renewable sources.
With funding from the Government’s Clean Growth strategy, the Trent Basin scheme is demonstrating how the rest of the UK could be generating electricity.
Here’s what it’s like living on the development, in the words of the residents.
The aim of the Sustainable Community Energy Networks Project (SCENe) was to change the way communities generate and use energy.
It took existing technologies and made them less expensive for consumers and more appealing for companies to invest in. The community scale scheme helps residents reduce their carbon footprint by managing their own energy.
How It Works
The project started with a housing development in Nottingham’s Trent Basin. The aim was to bring the residents together with the scheme’s stakeholders to create a transparent supply chain. In the future, the scheme will potentially change how the National Grid supplies electricity to homes.
Overseen by professor Mark Gillott, Professor of Sustainable Building Design at the University of Nottingham, the initiative is advancing research in sustainability and housing development. This is a step in towards the UK’s energy revolution.
The development consists of 120 smart homes that generate their own energy. The homes have solar panels, underground heat pumps and the residents can use electric cars and participate in a car sharing scheme. Cutting edge technologies are in place to predict patterns in energy consumption to better inform residents about the choices they make.
The battery is responsible for the community’s energy supply. The energy that is produced by the homes is stored inside the battery and then redistributed to the residents. Its power is immense. It can hold enough energy to power 167 electric kettles for over four hours.
Built by Tesla, the innovative system can also buy electricity from the National Grid when it’s at its lowest rate and sell that back to the residents for a reduced price.
This ground breaking scheme has paved the way for further developments to be set up across the UK. It has proven beneficial for all of the investors as well as for the residents themselves.
The Trent Basin scheme is first and foremost about the community. It is not only about clean energy living but about creating a real community who can benefit from the scheme.
The smart energy system helps to offset energy bills and provide lower heating costs for residents. Some of the profits are even shared with the residents as well as the stakeholders.
The location was chosen because it is surrounded by fresh air and open green spaces. The houses are of high quality and have been built facing the dock, on the banks of the River Trent.
“The peace and quiet, the sustainability, the interest in the low energy is very important to us, our energy bills are low.” – Ruth Lindstrom, Resident.
The residents have found the scheme so successful, more homes will be launched in 2019.
The Energy Sector
The energy sector has been revolutionised by these technological advancements. The research has proposed how community schemes can be more viable and sustainable than focussing on the individual.
Nottingham University and SCENe are working towards making the technology more commercially available. It has brought together a range of innovative businesses and developers who, in the long term, want to be able to sustain larger communities in the same way.
Funding from Innovate UK
Innovate UK has funded the Trent Basin project as part of the Government’s clean growth initiative. This aims to tackle climate change by decarbonising all UK sectors within the next decade.
It is one of many projects that the government’s Research and Innovation branch is investing in to better the whole of the UK socially, economically and environmentally.
Interested in finding out more? Subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel here.